Through six innings Tuesday night, Gwinnett's Cody Martin had allowed just one hit. But that was one more than Buffalo starter Dave Bush. And according to Martin, the pitchers' duel wasn't as much fun as one might expect.
"It was kind of a boring game when you really look at it," he said.
The Braves' No. 10 prospect battled the game's soporific nature to pitch a gem in his Triple-A debut. He allowed two hits and struck out seven over seven innings as Gwinnett scratched out just enough runs against Bush and the Bisons for a 2-0 victory.
Martin made 16 appearances, including 11 starts, for Double-A Mississippi before his promotion, going 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA. He ranked fifth in the Southern League with 71 strikeouts while walking 27 over 67 innings.
The 23-year-old right-hander has a deep repertoire that features four- and two-seam fastballs, a slider, curveball and changeup. And he's found success pairing those offerings with excellent command. The arsenal allows Martin to vary his game plan depending on what feels good on a given night.
Against the Bisons, Martin's go-to pitch quickly became the two-seam fastball. The offering felt good coming out of his hand from the outset, and he rode it to success in his first International League start.
"The first inning or two really tells me what I'm going to work off of," the Gonzaga University product said. "In the first inning, I threw some two-seamers and they were good. Guys were swinging through them, so I just stuck with that.
"I had some good, downward action on the two-seamer and I was getting a lot of weak contact, especially against lefties. Their big hitters are lefties, so that two-seamer away, I was able to get weak contact there. And that was big for me tonight."
Martin met up with Gwinnett over the weekend and had a few days to acclimate to his new teammates and coaches. He had never met Matt Pagnozzi prior to the promotion but said he and the Braves backstop hit it off quickly. Pagnozzi caught against Buffalo on Monday night, so he was able to assist Martin with a quality scouting report. His solo homer in the top of the eighth didn't hurt, either.
For Martin, the promotion was his third since being selected in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft.
"It's really fun," he said. "You're meeting a lot of new guys, it's exciting. You can get into a lull with things when you're with the same team for so long. By the midway point, it's just a grind every day where you're doing the same thing.
"It gets monotonous. Getting here two days ago, it put some pep in my step. I've been having an awesome time with these guys, and I just want to keep contributing."
The Braves finally got their first hit off Bush in the seventh. Brandon Boggs did the honors with an RBI double that also snapped a scoreless deadlock.
Bush was charged with a run on one hit and two walks with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. He was followed by former G-Brave Buddy Carlyle, who served up Pagnozzi's leadoff blast in the eighth.